Chris Christie leads Jon Corzine 47-41 in PPP's final poll of the New Jersey Governor's race, with Chris Daggett at 11%.
Corzine had pulled to within a point of Christie on our poll three weeks ago after trailing by as many as 14 points over the summer, but his momentum has stalled since then and Christie's built his lead back up to 4 points last week and now 6.
Christie's advantage is due largely to his support from independents and because he has Republicans more unified around him than the Democrats are around Corzine. Christie leads Corzine 52-29 with indies, as Daggett's support with that group has declined to 16%. Christie is getting 82% of Republicans to Corzine's 72% of Democrats.
As the campaign concludes it seems like Daggett's presence in the race has actually ended up hurting Corzine more than Christie, contrary to the earlier conventional wisdom. 45% of Daggett voters say the incumbent is their second choice to 36% for the challenger. Daggett's backers report having voted for Barack Obama by a 67-23 margin last year.
As is the case around the country this year enthusiasm is on the Republicans' side in New Jersey. 47% of Christie's supporters say they're 'very excited' about voting this fall to just 34% of Corzine's. The electorate is also likely to be more Republican leaning this year with likely voters reporting that they voted for Obama by a 54-43 margin in 2008, a spread narrower than the actual 57-42 result in the state.
In a finding symbolic of how unenthralled New Jersey voters were with their choices this year Christie is polling at 47% despite the fact that only 40% of voters think he made a strong case for why he should be elected Governor. Fully 27% of Christie's supporters don't feel he made the case for himself but Corzine's approval rating with that group of voters is only 3%, and those folks seem to have picked Christie as the lesser of two evils.
Corzine could still win with an exceptional Democratic turnout on Tuesday but there aren't a lot of factors in the race pointing to that as a strong possibility.
Full results here